When you ask most people what the opposite of “work” is, they often respond “play”. But not many realize that work is supposed to be synonymous with play. This matters greatly for one reason -- there must be at least some form of fun involved in your work.
It Could Be You.
Artists, for one, make a good example of this point. And freelancers such as designers, illustrators, and the like almost always have fun while on the job. The same can be said for athletes too. However, the concept of having fun while working isn’t only exclusive to them. As long as there is something that excites and challenges you, that's enough motivation. The secret is to find a job that almost feels like play. So basically, you get paid to have fun.
Invest in the Right Kind of Challenge.
Fun means enjoyment, and something generally experienced while playing a game. And just like any game, it can’t be too easy or hard, lest you will lose interest. What makes a series of events exciting is that there’s no one result--basketball games are never the same, paintings are never two of a kind. And for freelancers of course, there is no repetition--never the same website, logo, or CAD model. That’s what makes things challenging--the unpredictability. There is no one solid formula.
You must have heard of the saying “time flies when you’re having fun.” And in fact, you seem to lose your sense of time when you are in a creative flow. When you like what you’re doing and are so invested, you lose yourself in your work. Notice that this is when your inner talents comes out, and your performance heightens. You hear about doctors being in surgery for over 24 hours straight--and not just because it’s a long surgery, but because it’s something they love doing for hours on end.
See the Bigger Picture.
The bigger picture is that freelancing allows you to use the best of your abilities and not just merely work for the money. What are you good at and how can you use that talent to fulfill your dreams? You'll find satisfaction in putting your skills to use and seeing it translate into reality.
And that is how you play, and actually earn at the same time. As Confucius says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” You may think that’s too idealistic, and that’s okay. But would you have it any other way? It’s time to design a life big enough to indulge your every interest and allow you to be the person you want to be.